Interview with Nathalie McDermott
by Viewtalk Current Affairs

Viewtalk reporter Sannah and Debbie interviewed Nathalie McDermott, the founder and director of OnRoad Media a social media company which focuses on marginalised groups. OnRoad Media recently went to Ireland to do some work with the deaf community, so this was a particular interest for Viewtalk on working with social media communication and the deaf community. We also asked Nathalie, about her role, aims, services, the current digital revolution and so on.

See OnRoad Media for more information:
http://www.onroadmedia.org.uk/

For further interest see Nathalie's article on the Guardian:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2007/may/30/digitalmedia.comment

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Q1

Created: 10/5/10

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Q1: What prompted the idea of setting up On Road Media?
A: Well, I was a journalist at the BBC and after that I started working in prisons for three years. I set up a radio station in Wandsworth Prison in London with a team of people, with an organisation called Media Development. What we did is, we trained prisoners to make radio documentary’s about, why they were inside, how they hoped to stop the cycle of crime that kept leading them to get back inside, using drugs in prison. All of these issues, that are huge. But the main difference with the interviews that a prisoner was able to get as a reporter was that, obviously if two people have shared interest, shared back ground, shared experience, they open up so much more in an interview. They feel more relaxed, the interviewer can ask more pertinent relevant questions. And really the end product is usually much better and much more insightful than an interview conducted by a journalist like me, sort of parachuted into a community. So after three years working in the prison I felt, ok I’ve served my time (laughter) it was pretty exhausting. I decided to set up On Road Media which would work with all sorts of different communities, who aren’t represented in the mainstream media. Which is usually made up of a pretty homogenous kind of group, white, middle class, educated. Working with these communities, helping them to create their own media using the internet as a sort of sustainable way to create audio, video and your own web spaces.

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